BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan warned private buyers of lands in the city not to purchase Certificate of Ancestral Land titles (CALTs) issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to indigenous peoples because it is unlawful and defeats the purpose of preserving and protecting the ancestral domain.
Domogan pointed out the sale of CALTs to non-indigenous peoples is not allowed because what the law allows is the sale of the CALTs to the members of the clan of the indigenous peoples that were issued the ancestral titles.
“Interested buyers of ancestral titles should be circumspect in what they are buying because not all people are allowed to buy CALTs issued to certain indigenous peoples in the city,” Domogan stressed.
The local chief executive asserted there are numerous problems confronting the disposal of lands in the city that is why buyers, especially those from outside the Cordillera region, must take the necessary precautions before paying in full the lands that they were able to buy.
According to him, one of the priorities of the Baguio-Boracay Re-development Task Force under the Office of the President is the putting in place of the CALTs that were issued by the NCIP, especially the forest reservations that were covered by the ancestral titles which have complicated the city’s land problems.
Domogan cited buyers of land must not immediately believe in the ‘sugar-coated’ words of brokers and sellers but they must also conduct an investigation on their own to ascertain that the land they are buying are really authentic and fully documented before releasing their payments.
Under the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), the sale and disposal of CALTs will only be allowed for the members of the clan of the titleholder in order to preserve and protect the ancestral domain of indigenous peoples and indigenous cultural communities.
The city mayor revealed numerous enterprising land speculators are taking advantage of the ignorance of buyers of land from outside the region for them to be able to wreck in huge income leaving behind their buyers fighting out the legal battle just to be able to possess the lands that they have bought from erring speculators.
Domogan disclosed CALTs that were issued by the NCIP covering portions of Forbes Park, Wright Park, Loakan airport, Baguio Dairy Farm and some other areas were already nullified that is why buyers of ancestral lands in the said areas must now go after the ones who sold the properties to them in order to recover the money that they were able to pay them.
He said the ultimate remedy for buyers in good faith to recover their money from the ones who sold to them the questionable lands is to file charges of estafa for them to be able to recover their investments and have a chance to use their money for other productive purposes instead of being lost in such questionable transactions.
Domogan called on interested buyers of properties in the city to first validate the location of the lots they are trying to purchase to make sure that they are properly documented for their safety and security from the illegal activities of enterprising land speculators wanting to take advantage of their innocence. By Dexter A. See